Supporting the Master Plan

As Norman grows and new areas of town are covered by buildings or asphalt, there is less land to absorb water and less vegetation to filter pollutants. The result is increasing problems of flooding, erosion, and polluted drinking water in Lake Thunderbird.

This Tuesday, the Norman City Council is voting on whether to accept the findings of the Storm Water Master Plan and Greenway Master Plan. These plans outline strategies to manage run-off in urban areas and integrate those solutions with a citywide system of greenways and recreational trails.

The resolution does not establish any specific policies for water management. It only directs city staff to begin developing a policy based on the data in the Master Plans.

Nevertheless, some in the developer community are opposing even this initial step. They are asking for more studies and further delay, even though the problem is clear and the proposed solutions are similar to what has been successfully implemented in cities throughout the region.

The NSN steering committee believes this is an important step for sustainable development in Norman. Delays will only make the problems worse and more expensive in the long-run. Water management is a community-wide problem, and it needs the kind of comprehensive, community-wide solution that the Storm Water Master Plan represents. While some areas of town may need more improvements than others, the benefits are citywide. The watershed is a very complex system, and water flowing through one area will inevitably interact with many others before it reaches Lake Thunderbird or the Canadian River.

We urge all Norman residents to attend the City Council meeting this Tuesday, 6:30pm, at 201 W Gray St, and express your support for managing our vital water resources in a sustainable way. We need speakers from all walks of life. And whether or not you plan to speak at the meeting, we encourage everyone to attend wearing the brightest blue shirts you have to show your support.

For more information about this issue, check out this video at http://zanzibarstudios.com/clients/PSA.html.

We will gather to prepare for the meeting at 5:30pm at Gray Owl Coffee, 223 W Gray St. Contact us at info@normansustainability.org if you have any questions.

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